When I was in high school, I had a crush on this MTV guy. I’m not going to set off his Google alert, but suffice it to say he had glasses (oh, did he ever!) and seemed like the kind of nice Jewish boy I’d like to talk about literature and the news with while snuggling. After high school, I kind of forgot about him, but when a mutual friend offered to bring me to his birthday party a few years ago (’09), I took him up on the offer.
When I arrived, my crush was rather drunk, but still charming. I shyly introduced myself. He made a self-deprecating joke about how old and lame he was, which I appreciated. He wasn’t as cute as he’d been in my high school fantasies, but he was still cute. And he still had the glasses. After that, he told our mutual friend he was “interested” and we emailed back and forth a little bit, but he kept canceling on our plans because he was busy doing impressive TV stuff. Whatever. Eventually, I gave up and began dating someone else. (Someone who was very bad for me, and to whom I wasn’t speaking by the time SXSW 2010 rolled around). Several months went by.
It was around this time that I wrote a piece about Terry Richardson that ended up becoming somewhat infamous. Immediately after I wrote the piece, I went to Austin for SXSW, so its fallout did not hit me as hard as it might have. By the last night of the festival I’d shaken off most of my paranoia that people were staring at me and gotten down to the serious business of seeing how many free Dos Equis beers my friends and I could slam at the Vice party.
I felt someone grab me from behind. Suppressing the urge to punch blindly, I turned around. It was MTV guy.
“Hey Jamie,” he said. “I liked your piece on Terry Richardson.” I wanted to ask him what he had liked about it (was it my brave stand against fashion royalty or the fact that I got naked and performed a sex act in it?) but I didn’t. “Thanks!” I replied. He went on: “You’re not afraid to sell out yourself or anyone else. That’s real journalism.” Tell me more about how dubiously awesome I am, I thought, and he continued like he’d read my mind.
I don’t really remember what we talked about, but I remember thinking it was going pretty well. We were having what I hoped was witty banter and he kept bringing me drinks, and I was twirling my hair around my fingers and laughing at his jokes. I started doing that thing girls do sometimes where they accidentally let their boobs brush up against you. (If a girl does this, fellows, she’s serious about wanting the dick.) At one point he said he thought I was “trouble” because I’m a writer and might write about him, and I just kind of smiled and said that, yes, I have been known to do that.
Dude wasn’t at all like I thought he would be. He had the cocksure swagger you probably need to have to convince people to put you on TV, and a “masculine adult New Yorker with money” taste in things like food (fancy meats) and shirts (APC?). He wasn’t nearly as nebbishy as I’d hoped, but this kind of only made me want to sleep with him more, because he’d probably throw me around and not cry afterwards.